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Pernod Ricard has 'no plan to buy rival'

PERNOD-RICARD, the maker of Jameson, Chivas Regal and Absolut vodka, has no plans to make acquisitions as it focuses on innovating its own brands.

"The strategy is extremely clear: no acquisitions," said chief executive Pierre Pringuet yesterday, when asked if he was interested in Fortune Brands' drinks unit.

He said that there is no "clear gap" in Pernod's portfolio of products. After three "major" purchases in the last eight years, Pernod is focusing on growing without making more, Pringuet said.

Quinn bidder settles 'kickbacks' lawsuit

ANGLO Irish Bank's bidding partner in the battle to take over Quinn Insurance has paid out $7.5m to settle a US lawsuit over alleged bid-rigging and kickbacks.

Reports in the US confirm that insurance giant Liberty Mutual agreed to the payments at the end of December. There was no admission of wrongdoing.

Liberty and Anglo's Quinn bid is believed to have made it to the final two under consideration by the administrations appointed to Quinn Insurance Limited (QIL) last April.

SMEs boost food sales to €400m

SMALL food businesses are bucking the economic trend with sales up by 7pc to €400m since 2007, and the majority rate their prospects for 2011 as better than last year.

Non alcoholic drink sales by smaller companies are up by 40pc on the back of growing popularity for mineral water and sports drinks, while demand for craft beers has helped alcohol sales rise by 30pc.

Sales of cold meats are up by over 25pc. Bord Bia held a seminar in Enfield Co Meath yesterday to highlight the scope for growth amongst the 400 small food businesses they represent.

Lough Shore targets North's tech firms

DANNY Moore, former chief operating officer of NYSE Technologies, has announced the establishment of Belfast-based investment firm Lough Shore Investments.

The firm plans to partner with both established and promising next generation start-up companies primarily based in Northern Ireland. Mr Moore plans to bring "significant foreign investment" to the North through Lough Shore Investments.

Irish Independent